McBurnett named Citizen of the Year

Lew K. Cohn/Burnet Bulletin

Burnet Chamber of Commerce board member Ben Farmer, right, presents the Thomas C. Ferguson Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award to Burnet CISD superintendent Keith McBurnett at the annual chamber awards banquet held Saturday, Feb. 17. Applauding him are, from left, board members Crista Tate, Mark Lunsford and Sherri Wisner.






By Savanna Gregg

Burnet Bulletin

A sign of a strong community is the generosity and kindness its members offer to each other, all for the benefit of the group as a whole. The people of Burnet exhibit these traits daily, from something as small as a smile, to selflessly donating time and effort to someone in need.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the people of Burnet came together to celebrate the accomplishments of these people and the difference they continue to make in the community at the 63rd annual Burnet Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet at the Burnet Community Center.

The night began with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Mark Lunsford, and the invocation offered by Gary Wideman.

As presented every year, the BCISD Hall of Honor Awards were given to deserving former BCISD employees and graduates in recognition of their achievements and service to the school district and community.

BCISD superintendent Keith McBurnett and BCISD trustee Robby Robertson presented Camm Lary Jr. with the BCISD Distinguished Former School Board Member Award. Lary served on the BCISD Board of Trustees from 1985 – 1994.

McBurnett and BCISD trustee Jeff Hullum recognized Mitzi Williams Lancaster with the Distinguished Former BHS Athlete Award. Lancaster was a member of the Burnet High School graduating class of 1988 and earned SWC All-Academic team honors as a starting guard for Baylor University, where she is still seventh all-time in three-point shooting percentage.

McBurnett and BCISD Board President Andy Feild recognized Dennis Hoover as the BCISD Distinguished Graduate. Hoover graduated from Burnet High School in 1970.

McBurnett and BCISD Board Vice President Angela Moore presented Mary Ann Gurno as the BCISD Distinguished Former Employee. Gurno was an employee for BCISD from 1984-2002.

McBurnett and BCISD Board Trustee Mark Kincaid presented the Educator of the Year Award to BHS Ag Teacher Joe Vann.

Chamber of Commerce President Roger Moore presented former president Gina Glaeser with the Past President Award. He also presented a plaque to Rachel Holcomb for her two years of service to the Chamber. Glaeser recognized First Vice President Mark Lunsford as Director of the Year.

Chamber Secretary Cresta Tate awarded Kenneth Pruitt as Outstanding Farmer/Rancher of the Year. Chamber Treasurer Damon Beierle, accompanied by Ann Riddell and Vonnie Fox, presented the Wallace Riddell Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to Burnet police officer Myron Hall.

Board member David Bennett recognized Chicken Express with the Small Business of the Year Award, which board member David Vaughn recognized Hamilton Valley Management with the Large Business of the Year Award.

Board member Sherry Wisener recognized Carole Goble as Senior Citizen of the Year for her time and effort dedicated to ensuring the success of the community.

Four outstanding students — Marissa Escamilla, Michael Rivera, Sierra Simpson, and Ellett Vann — were also recognized at the banquet, all nominated for their athletic, academic, and extra curricular achievements. Board member Bill Drake presented the Outstanding Youth of the Year Award to Vann, the first recipient of the $1,500 “Bluebonnet Festival” scholarship.

Board Member Ben Farmer presented the final award of the evening. The Thomas C. Ferguson Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Keith McBurnett. McBurnett serves on many boards and organizations, including the Hill Country Community Foundation, Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center, Burnet Rotary Club, and Knights of Columbus.

McBurnett continues to donate time and financial contributions to programs and events including the Suzanne Johnson Foundation, Salvation Army, and Seton Care-A-Van. In appreciation of these and many more contributions, McBurnett was nominated by the people of the community he continues to impact. Also nominated were Burnet Mayor Christa Goble Bromley and Burnet County Precinct 2 Commissioner Russell Graeter.

In true philanthropic Burnet fashion, the decorations adorning the tables cleverly and creatively consisted of perishable food items, all of which were donated to LACare, BCISD's food bank, which provides food for more than 4,000 families in the school district.

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